Friday, April 21, 2017

1) Freeport warns Indonesia copper mine workers as Grasberg strike looms

2)  Papuan women told to avoid old-fashioned traditions
3) Ministry warns tourists traveling to Eastern Indonesia of malaria infection
4) Research reveals low number of female whale sharks in Papua
COMMODITIES | Fri Apr 21, 2017 | 8:46am ED
1) Freeport warns Indonesia copper mine workers as Grasberg strike looms
By Kanupriya Kapoor and Fergus Jensen | JAKARTA
Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc warned on Friday it would punish workers for absenteeism at its Indonesian unit, a day after one of its main unions announcedplans to go on a one-month strike over employment conditions. 
Tensions are rising around Grasberg, the world's second-biggest copper mine, after operator Freeport laid off thousands of workers there to stem losses from an ongoing dispute with the Indonesian government over mining rights. 
While Freeport is expecting to soon seal agreements with Jakarta to allow it to temporarily resume copper concentrate exports after a more than three-month hiatus, a strike could impact its efforts to ramp up production. 
"Freeport Indonesia has experienced a high level of absenteeism over the last several days," Freeport spokesman Eric told Reuters. 
"Absenteeism is being tracked and disciplinary actions will be enforced under the terms of the Collective Labor Agreement," Kinneberg said. 
As of last week Freeport had "demobilized" just over 10 percent of its workforce of 32,000, a number expected to grow until its dispute with the government is fully resolved.
Further adding to tensions around Grasberg, several Freeport workers and police were injured in a clash in Papua on Thursday, when officers fired rubber bullets at demonstrators in Timika. 
The Freeport workers' union said in a statement on Thursday that the company's efforts so far to reduce its workforce have had "extensive impacts on workers and their families". 
Workers are worried about the layoffs "because there are no limits or specific criteria on workers who will be furloughed," the union said. It demanded an end to the furlough policy, and notified Freeport of plans to strike for 30 days from May 1. 

"Efforts by the company to cut costs and reduce their numbers of workers, this is what has made them feel agitated," said Virgo Solossa, a Freeport workers' union member told Reuters. He added that in his view Freeport was only doing what it needed to survive, and that he and many other workers would not join the strike.

Some workers on Thursday "carried out acts of anarchy ... so police took action and fired rubber bullets," Solossa said. He said four workers and seven police were injured in the clash but that the dispute was not related to the planned strike.
Timika Police Chief Victor Machbon confirmed the details of the incident, adding that approximately 1,000 demonstrators attempting to free a union leader at a court hearing had not dispersed when tear gas was fired. 
Indonesia halted Freeport's copper concentrate exports in January under new rules that require the Arizona-based company to adopt a special license, pay new taxes and royalties, divest a 51 percent stake in its operations and relinquish arbitration rights. The stoppage has cost both the company and Indonesia hundreds of millions of dollars, but negotiations over sticking points is expected to continue for the next six months at least. 
In February Freeport served notice to Jakarta in the dispute, saying it has the right to commence arbitration in 120 days if no agreement is reached.
(Reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor and Fergus Jensen; Additional reporting by Wilda Asmarini; Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Tom Hogue)


2)  Papuan women told to avoid old-fashioned traditions
Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura, Papua | Fri, April 21, 2017 | 09:31 pm

Empowerment: Papuan women attend a discussion and training session provided by the Papuan Working Group to develop the economy of their families. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)
The struggle of Kartini, a young female hero who strove to release Indonesian women from old-fashioned traditions, must be followed by women in Papua, where local communities still adopt a strict patriarchal system.
“Papuan women should not let themselves be shackled by old-fashioned traditions. It doesn’t mean we should no longer adhere to our customs and traditions. But what should happen is that our traditions must become our motor to keep moving forward,” said Jacoba Lokbere, a Papua Legislative Council member from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), in Jayapura on Friday.
The lawmaker further said many Papuan women were still shackled by old-fashioned traditions, such as marriage at a young age, because there was a common belief there that once a woman got her period, she was ready to get married. Youth marriage was common especially in remote villages with poor access to information and communications.
“It is still widely considered that women’s sole responsibilities are to give birth to their children, tackle housework and work in plantations. Only men are allowed to work outside the home,” said Jacoba, in her statement on the commemoration of Kartini Day on April 21.
The female Papuan politician said she could release herself from the adoption of old-fashioned traditions because of her strong will to see more Indonesian women having a successful career in various fields, but without forgetting the support of their families.
“Families play a great role in releasing a woman from the adoption of old-fashioned traditions,” she said. (ebf)

Equal rights: US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph Donovan (right, wearing brown batik shirt) attends the International Women's Day celebration at Hamadi Beach in Jayapura, Papua, recently. (JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)

3) Ministry warns tourists traveling to Eastern Indonesia of malaria infection
Jakarta | Fri, April 21, 2017 | 09:08 am
The Health Ministry has warned the public, especially tourists traveling to the Eastern part of Indonesia, to be cautious about malaria infection in the region.
According to the ministry's data, malaria is still highly endemic in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Maluku, North Maluku, West Papua and Papua provinces.
The ministry’s director of vector and zoonotic infection disease prevention and control, Vensya Sitohang, said that tourists, especially backpackers, should anticipate and take necessary measurements against the disease. "Avoid going outdoors at night since the anopheles mosquito is more active during that time. If you must travel after dark, apply [mosquito repellent] lotion; and install a mosquito net for when you are sleeping," she said as quoted by Antara news agency.
For those already bitten, Vensya advised travelers to immediately visit health services and conduct laboratory checks for malaria.
Tourists are also encouraged to take precautions by taking antimalarial medications prior to their trip, which are available for free in health facilities like Puskesmas (community health centers) and hospitals.
NTT and West Papua are currently among the country's most popular travel destinations with highlights including Raja Ampat and Labuan Bajo. (mas/kes)


4) Research reveals low number of female whale sharks in Papua
Arya Dipa The Jakarta Post
Papua | Fri, April 21, 2017 | 10:24 am
A research team from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Indonesia reveals that the population of whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay, Papua, is quite large, amounting to 135 individuals.
“Only four out of the total population are female, however,” said Evi Nurul Ihsan, WWF Indonesia’s monitoring and surveillance officer for Cenderawasih Bay in Kwatisore, Nabire, Papua, last week.
“Such a situation has also occurred in other places, such as in the Philippines and other parts of the world,” he said, adding the causes remained a mystery of the global research on whale shark populations.
Together with other whale shark observers, Evi recorded their numbers by using underwater photographic devices. They took pictures of scratches and white freckles behind the left and right gills of the whale sharks for identification purposes because each of them has a different pattern. They also recorded their size and sex.
Based on satellite monitoring results, the migration area of the whale sharks is quite large, Evi said. They not only moved within Cenderawasih Bay National Park waters but also reached the northern waters of West Papua that directly connect to the Pacific Ocean.
“But they will always return to the national park. Hence, its existence is important for the whale sharks,” said Evi.
Whale sharks also can be found in waters around Alor and Flores in East NusaTenggara and around Bali, Maluku, North Sulawesi, Papua, Sabang in Aceh and Situbondo in East Java. In Probolinggo, East Java, the presence of whale sharks is seasonal. “But in Papua, they appear throughout the year,” said Evi. (ebf)
RIDAY, 21 APRIL, 2017 | 21:00 WIB
US Vice President Pence Trusts Indonesia in Fighting Terrorism
TEMPO.COJakarta - United States Vice President Michael R. Pence said that the US and Indonesia will continue to work together in the war against terrorism. Pence said that Indonesia is a US strategic partner in the war against terrorism.
“I can convince the Indonesian people that we won’t stop fighting terrorism,” he said in Jakarta on Friday, April 21, 2017.
Pence suggested that cooperation is important to deal with terror threats.
He explained that the terror attack launched in Paris, France, was a warning that a terror attack can happen anywhere and anytime.
“Indonesia and the United States have been there,” he said, adding that both countries need to anticipate such an attack.
Earlier on Thursday, April 20, 2017, Mike Pence arrived in Indonesia to sign a number of memoranda of understanding on business cooperation between Indonesia and the US. Indonesia is the first country in Southeast Asia visited by Pence before he departed for Australia.
During the first day of his visit, Mr. Pence met President Joko Widodo or Jokowi to discuss trade and terrorism topics. Pence said that strong partnership in the defense sector would be useful to anticipate security threats.

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